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Seattle’s 16 best places to Instagram outside

Take advantage of Seattle’s gorgeous sights

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The days are getting longer in Seattle, the flowers are emerging, and everything outside is gorgeous. Maybe you just took a trip here, or you’re spending some extra time exploring your city. Yes, it’s good to have experiences whether or not you’re taking photos, but sometimes, you’re doing it for the ‘gram.

Either way: You might want to keep your Instagram followers posted with something more interesting than the Space Needle, even if it does have that cool glass floor now.

We’ve mapped 15 spots to get some double-tap worthy Instas, from urban backdrops to watery landscapes to skyline views. Some of these are just really incredible murals, including a collection of very good dogs in a Belltown dog park. A couple you may know already, even if not by name, like the iconic view from Kerry Park. Looking for some architectural prestige? Try the brutalist Freeway Park fountain.

These aren’t all clustered around downtown, though. There are infinite jaw-dropping photo ops at Kubota Garden to the south, or head north to Carkeek Park for views, beach, and trains, all right next to each other.

And even if you’re not keeping your social media updated, maybe bring a camera along to these locations—just for yourself.

Map points are ordered north to south.

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Carkeek Park

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There are so many great photo ops in Carkeek Park without even hitting the trails: the overlook to the beach, the bridge over the railroad tracks (framed by either the grate, a train, or the beach view below), or out on the water itself. Just watch out for that afternoon and evening sun—this west-facing park can get a little backlit if you’re trying to get a photo with the water view.

Fremont Troll

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Obviously the Fremont Troll is a big deal around here, and for good reason: It’s a unique and ambitious art installation that has helped define the Fremont neighborhood’s weird reputation. It’s also screaming for some unique poses around it, whether he’s creeping up behind you or you’re taking a rest in his giant hands.

Gas Works Park

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There’s a little something for everybody here: Industrial ruins! Water views! A grassy hill! Since it’s right along the Burke-Gilman Trail, it’s also a popular spot for bike selfies (or just photos of your sweet bike).

A post shared by Chuck Edgin (@chuckedgin) on

Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens

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There’s such a diversity of plants and landscaping in this park, which also sits along Lake Washington, that you won’t be sure whether to start taking pictures or painting. It’s also a popular spot for kayaking for that on-the-water aesthetic.

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Magnolia Park

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While smaller than nearby Discovery Park, Magnolia Park offers stunning water views from a grassy field.

Kerry Park

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You too can get that iconic skyline view so often used in establishing shots. That familiar shape that puts the Space Needle front-and-center comes from Queen Anne’s Kerry Park—essentially built for Seattle photo ops. The design-minded can also grab a shot with Changing Form, a steel sculpture Doris Totten Chase designed to frame the view.

A post shared by laura (@outerspacelaura) on

Pacific Science Center

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Walk right past the Space Needle and get an awesome portrait with the arches, also built for the Century 21 Exposition—just as iconic, and with the same retro-futuristic vibe. Pay your admission and grab a few shots in the incredible courtyard before heading inside to check out the exhibits.

Olympic Sculpture Park

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In addition to being full of art to decorate your feed, the Olympic Sculpture Park connects to the waterfront and runs along Elliott Bay, peppered with both rocky beaches and industrial equipment.

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Regrade Park

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Grab your pup and take the dreamest selfie by the magic dog mural by Cern lining this popular dog park. Draft a friend to take the photo for a wider angle on that giant, angelic Pomeranian face.

A post shared by GP (@filmgrl29) on

Freeway Park fountain

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A fountain at the south edge of Lawrence Halprin-designed Freeway Park is a dynamic, brutalist mountain—popular amongst parkour enthusiasts and engagement photographers alike. It also makes a fantastic backdrop to any Instagram portrait.

Gum Wall

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Let all your followers know that you, too, have mingled with the saliva of millions. (It does make a colorful, abstract backdrop.)

A post shared by Emma Monden (@emmamonden) on

Pier 57

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Here’s where you get your shot with that giant Ferris wheel—or just a pretty photo of Elliott Bay. Bonus shots: There’s a carousel and a few fisherman statues you can pose with inside.

A post shared by Dessiré (@dessirefi) on

Occidental Square

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The bricks lining the ground and the west side of Occidental Square are an iconic part of Seattle—and make great backdrops. The corridor of trees down the center can also provide some solid, natural framing.

A post shared by Camila Picolli (@milapicolli) on

Hamilton Viewpoint Park

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This little park at the northern edge of West Seattle offers clear views of the downtown skyline over Elliott Bay.

A post shared by Amanda Rasch (@amanda_rasch) on

Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge and Park

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This is another great spot to get an iconic city view—and, mostly beloved by locals, it’s not quite as well-known as Kerry Park. The park also has an off-leash area for all your dog-photo needs.

A post shared by AiVan Vu (@aibunv) on

Kubota Garden

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Want a cute photo of a bridge? There are so many to choose from. Flowers? Got ‘em. Trees? Those too. Kubota Garden was once the personal garden of sought-after landscape artist Fujitaro Kubota, and uses Japanese gardening concepts to showcase Northwest plant life. Now, it’s a city park—an a popular spot for photography, whether an SLR or an iPhone.

A post shared by Tuan Lee (@leeleexlove) on

Carkeek Park

There are so many great photo ops in Carkeek Park without even hitting the trails: the overlook to the beach, the bridge over the railroad tracks (framed by either the grate, a train, or the beach view below), or out on the water itself. Just watch out for that afternoon and evening sun—this west-facing park can get a little backlit if you’re trying to get a photo with the water view.

Fremont Troll

Obviously the Fremont Troll is a big deal around here, and for good reason: It’s a unique and ambitious art installation that has helped define the Fremont neighborhood’s weird reputation. It’s also screaming for some unique poses around it, whether he’s creeping up behind you or you’re taking a rest in his giant hands.

Gas Works Park

There’s a little something for everybody here: Industrial ruins! Water views! A grassy hill! Since it’s right along the Burke-Gilman Trail, it’s also a popular spot for bike selfies (or just photos of your sweet bike).

A post shared by Chuck Edgin (@chuckedgin) on

Washington Park Arboretum UW Botanic Gardens

There’s such a diversity of plants and landscaping in this park, which also sits along Lake Washington, that you won’t be sure whether to start taking pictures or painting. It’s also a popular spot for kayaking for that on-the-water aesthetic.

A post shared by Sharaya (@sharayadawn) on

Magnolia Park

While smaller than nearby Discovery Park, Magnolia Park offers stunning water views from a grassy field.

Kerry Park

You too can get that iconic skyline view so often used in establishing shots. That familiar shape that puts the Space Needle front-and-center comes from Queen Anne’s Kerry Park—essentially built for Seattle photo ops. The design-minded can also grab a shot with Changing Form, a steel sculpture Doris Totten Chase designed to frame the view.

A post shared by laura (@outerspacelaura) on

Pacific Science Center

Walk right past the Space Needle and get an awesome portrait with the arches, also built for the Century 21 Exposition—just as iconic, and with the same retro-futuristic vibe. Pay your admission and grab a few shots in the incredible courtyard before heading inside to check out the exhibits.

Olympic Sculpture Park

In addition to being full of art to decorate your feed, the Olympic Sculpture Park connects to the waterfront and runs along Elliott Bay, peppered with both rocky beaches and industrial equipment.

A post shared by Samantha G (@shmuella) on

Regrade Park

Grab your pup and take the dreamest selfie by the magic dog mural by Cern lining this popular dog park. Draft a friend to take the photo for a wider angle on that giant, angelic Pomeranian face.

A post shared by GP (@filmgrl29) on

Freeway Park fountain

A fountain at the south edge of Lawrence Halprin-designed Freeway Park is a dynamic, brutalist mountain—popular amongst parkour enthusiasts and engagement photographers alike. It also makes a fantastic backdrop to any Instagram portrait.

Gum Wall

Let all your followers know that you, too, have mingled with the saliva of millions. (It does make a colorful, abstract backdrop.)

A post shared by Emma Monden (@emmamonden) on

Pier 57

Here’s where you get your shot with that giant Ferris wheel—or just a pretty photo of Elliott Bay. Bonus shots: There’s a carousel and a few fisherman statues you can pose with inside.

A post shared by Dessiré (@dessirefi) on

Occidental Square

The bricks lining the ground and the west side of Occidental Square are an iconic part of Seattle—and make great backdrops. The corridor of trees down the center can also provide some solid, natural framing.

A post shared by Camila Picolli (@milapicolli) on

Hamilton Viewpoint Park

This little park at the northern edge of West Seattle offers clear views of the downtown skyline over Elliott Bay.

A post shared by Amanda Rasch (@amanda_rasch) on

Dr. Jose Rizal Bridge and Park

This is another great spot to get an iconic city view—and, mostly beloved by locals, it’s not quite as well-known as Kerry Park. The park also has an off-leash area for all your dog-photo needs.

A post shared by AiVan Vu (@aibunv) on

Kubota Garden

Want a cute photo of a bridge? There are so many to choose from. Flowers? Got ‘em. Trees? Those too. Kubota Garden was once the personal garden of sought-after landscape artist Fujitaro Kubota, and uses Japanese gardening concepts to showcase Northwest plant life. Now, it’s a city park—an a popular spot for photography, whether an SLR or an iPhone.

A post shared by Tuan Lee (@leeleexlove) on